Categories: Burma & Shan State

Mae Surin Update

Author: Gay Chiangmai 1 Apr 2013

In this article from a few days ago we repeated the requests from The Best Friend for help for refugees at the Mae Surin refugee camp with was destroyed by fire leaving many tens of people dead and hundreds more injured. Help is still desperately needed, you can donate cash or blankets, clothing and household items. Contact the The Best Friend Library at 302/2 Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 13, Chiang Mai or you can donate online.

However, there is some good news today for Chaa Nay Choo, the 14 year old blaze hero currently being treated for burns in Chiang Mai’s Suan Dok hospital. Nestle Thailand and Baxter Healthcare (Thailand) are donating the medications most urgently needed for Chaa Nay Choo which the hospital was otherwise unable to fund. But, his fight is by no means over as he will still require many months of hospital care and donations to support the cost will still be gratefully received.

In other developments, Irrawaddy is reporting that Thai authorities are blocking access to the camp by outsiders. Meanwhile rumours continue about the cause of the blaze.

Update 2 April

See the following full update on Chaa Nay Choo on the best friend website: here

Radchada Garden CaféBPB Property

Just over a week ago fire devastated a border refugee camp at Mae Surin in Mae Hong Song province around 150Km west of Chiang Mai. At least forty refugees were killed, perhaps more, many were injured and thousands made homeless. As refugees they are unable to leave the camp area and conditions are reported to be appalling. The event has largely been ignored by the international media, whilst the domestic media has been pre-occupied with the blame and cover up game. The bottom line is these people urgently need humanitarian assistance.

Mae Surin Refugee Camp Fire

You can read more about the tragedy here at the Best Friend If you can help, either with donations of clothes, blankets and household goods please contact the best friend in Chiang Mai at The Best Friend Library at 302/2 Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 13. Theya re acting as a collection point for donated goods. Alternatively you can donate cash – see the article for donations by PayPal.

For more information about the fire and the camp see these articles on the Chiang Mai City News website. Disturbing Images from Mae Surin Refugee Camp – People Urgently Need Donations (WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT) and more here


One of the most seriously injured victims is 14 year old Chaa Nay Choo who heroically helped to rescue several people during the fire and suffered serious burns. He has been recovered to Chiang Mai’s Suan Dok hospital and received emergency treatment, however, he will have to stay in the hospital for several months and the Thai health system is unable to cover the cost of his treatment. Cash donations to pay for his ongoing treatment are urgently required otherwise his condition could deteriorate and become life threatening. The following article on the Best Friend website gives full details of his story and how you can help

Permanent Link to Please meet Chaa Nay Choo, heroic 14-year-old from Mae Surin Karenni Refugee Camp

Best Friend Library – Meet Chaa Nay Choo, heroic 14-year-old from Mae Surin Karenni Refugee Camp

House of MaleMansfield Residence

Comments So Far

Myanmar Hunks

Author: BonTong 26 Feb 2012

It will be no secret to many that follow this website that up in Chiang Mai there are loads of good looking guys from Burma. Whilst browsing around today we found a website that pays hommage to some of the best looking one’s Check out Myanmar Hunks

Here’s just a taster:

Myanmar Hunk

Go Enjoy :)

SohoRadchada Garden Café

Today a rally in support of the ethnic people of Burma and all political prisoners is being held in front of the U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai. The rally coincides with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s historic visit to Burma. Please support the call and send an email to Hillary Clinton now!

Rally web image.

Despite the “flickers of progress” called by President Obama, the reality is that in many ways human rights abuses have escalated since President Thein Sein took office. The US and other nations must continue to demand an end to ethnic conflicts and the release of all political prisoners as one of the necessary preconditions to further increased engagement or any other rewards.

You can read the full event statement at

SohoBon Tong productions

Pee Mai Tai 2106

Author: BonTong 25 Nov 2011

Mai Soong Pee Mai Tai – Happy Shan New Year!

The Shan New year falls on the first day of the waxing moon, which this year is the 26th November. Festivities will commence at Wat Ku Tao today, 25th November and last for three days.

Shan New Year invite

in Chiang Mai the center of this years celebration is at Wat Ku Tao in the Chang Puek District located off Chotana road and at the back of the city stadium (Sanam Gila). We expect there is also some celebration at the other Shan Wat – Wat Pao Pao on the northern moat. Wat Ku Tao is named after it’s unusual stupa that looks like water melons.

Stupa at Wat Ku Tao

Water melon Stupa at Wat Ku

View Wat Ku Tao – Chiang Mai in a larger map

As well as traditional Buddhist rites and merit making, the celebrations include a range of entertainment including a large stage show with contests, Shan cultural singing and dancing and contemporary Shan music. The wat is packed with stalls selling Shan food, traditional clothing, CDs and DVDs of Shan music, Shan books and handicrafts. Other stalls include games and entertainment.

Groups of Shan men tour the temple with traditional temple drums and cymbals providing a constant background accompaniment and atmosphere. Below are some pictures from lat years festival. For more visit the organisers website:

Kinnara DanceShan DancingShan Culture - traditional temple drums

Traditional Shan cultural dances and temple drummers

To set the festival in context one should understand a little about the Shan people. They come from the Shan State in the South East of Burma and refer to themselves as Tai in the Shan Language. Ethnically the Shan people are part of the Tai group which has origins spreading from Yunnan province in China. They are also known as Tai Yai (Meaning Big Tai). They Speak their own language, Shan or Tai, and have a rich culture which is quite different to Thai.

Chiang Mai and Thailand’s northern provinces bordering Burma have a large population of ethnic Shan, some indigenous, but most are refugees from the fighting in the Shan State between ethnic groups and Naypyitaw’s Burmese Army. As refugees without ID they cannot work legally in Thailand and many are exploited and forced to work in low paid manual labouring jobs to survive. Many young Shan men work in Chiang Mai’s gay bars and in some places make up as much as 90% of the staff. You can find out more about the Shan from the side bar on the right of this page which has links to many websites about the Shan or Tai people and their persecution.

If you are visiting Chiang Mai this is a bad weekend to go to a go-go or host bar as many of the staff will be off partying. Instead, head down to Wat Ku Tao and join in the celebrations and watch the colourful show. We have many Shan friends who are some of the nicest and most friendly people you will meet in Thailand. Note, alcohol is not allowed in the temple, but if you must, there will be plenty of kiosks and shops outside the temple where you can have a drink and enjoy Shan food.

In the temple there will be opportunities to donate to Shan causes – please give generously, or you can donate to the Best Friend Library

Radchada Garden Café

Commercial Gay Scene – Go-Go Bars, Karaoke and Massage

With high season kicking in this week in Chiang Mai, and Loy krthong only days away, this is part two of our series about where to find gay sex in Chiang Mai, and what to expect if you are a first time visitor here. This part looks at the commercial gay sex scene: Go-Go bars, Karaoke and massage. The final part will cover freelance hustlers.

So, what’s available for the horny gay visitor, with high expectations of a vibrant commercial sex scene? Chiang Mai’s four Go-Go bars, Adam’s Apple, Free Guy, New My Way and Circle Pub, are best described with the cliché “same same but different”. Though none are real Go-Go bars, but rather host bars with shows, they all have similar types of guy working there, who are almost exclusively Shan from Burma (see later), and prices are similar”. Hosts are dressed in street clothes (Jeans, T shirt) or shirt and tie style uniforms rather than skimpy underwear. The shows run for an hour or two. Quantity and quality depends on the number of customers and available guys so can vary a lot from night to night. There are no live sex shows though most include some nudity and some Lady Boy cabaret acts: typically sequined frocks and lip syncing to big diva songs.
But there are differences:

Chiang Mai Male Go-Go Bars

Adam’s Apple Club
Chiang Mai’s oldest host bar, originally conceived by Mohammad, a charismatic and worldly wise Lebanese entrepreneur, who put gay bars on the map in Chiang Mai. He is still proprietor of the gay “Lotus Hotel” across the road, with its popular “Garden Bar” and restaurant.

Entrance to Adam’s Apple

After being closed several years for a complete rebuild and makeover “Adam ’s Apple” is now owned by Todd, an outgoing American from L.A. who’s personality defines the club. It’s smart, with a modern, almost clinically clean environment and atmosphere, state of the art light and sound systems and smooth service. The show includes several cabaret routines with some of Chiangmai’s better Katoey acts, some nude go-go, with one or two boys dancing, and erotic dance sequences with nudity. It’s always been popular with tourists given its long reputation and foreigner ownership. But, Thai customers like it too, especially weekend visitors from Bangkok

Todd – The man behind Adam’s Apple

Circle Pub

For Thai customers this is Chiang Mai’s premier club and has several muscle boy staff that appeal to both the Thai Gays and Thai ladies who flock there at weekends. Although smart and clean, the décor is rather chintzy. Professionally run it has a slick show with two performances a night, but the prices are on the high side. It is possibly the least appealing bar for foreigners unless you want muscle guys.

Circle Pub

The stage at Circle Pub - glittering for show time

Free Guy
“Free guy” is the most laid back club, replacing proficient management with fun and smiles. Their biggest claim is “no ladyboys” and the show is all boy next door types, with almost every act being a more or less imaginative scenario for the participants to remove their clothes and demonstrate what they have to offer! The catwalk style stage makes sure everyone gets a great view and between acts they have three boys Go-Go dancing in sexy underwear.

Free Guy Sexy Go-go

“Free Guys’” Show now starts at 10:00 p.m. and recent reports all say it’s fun with lot’s of new bar boys.

New My Way
Re-modelled for last year’s high season, performers now descend down some stairs onto the stage, “New My Way” is always a lively place. The show is long, from about 10 p.m. to midnight, and has a variety of cabaret, erotic nude acts and dancing. The show also has a couple of new surprises. “New My Way” is quite compact which makes it always seem full and adds to a good atmosphere.

For addresses and more details of Host Bars and other venues check out our map, or visit

Chiang Mai Male Karaoke Bars

Another choice which is open later than the go-go bars is Karaoke. We recommend Barocco or Relax where the drinks are at normal prices, though the drink selection is very Thai: limited to large beers or whiskey bottle/mixer sets. Both have a large selection of waiters you can “off”; they also have many gay Thai customers some of whom are keen to meet foreigners. These places don’t get busy until after midnight. You can read more about Relax – the most fun gay bar in Chaing Mai here

Bar Boys and the Shan State

One surprise for visitors to Chiang Mai, which makes the commercial sex scene stand out from places like Bangkok and Pattaya is that there are very few Thai guys working in Chiang Mai’s bars. Nearly all the bar boys are Shan refugees from nearby Burma (Myanmar), in particular from the Shan state, the South Eastern part of Burma bordering Thailand, Laos and China. If you plan to meet guys from Chiang Mai’s commercial bars it is worth taking some time to understand about Shan people, as you’ll soon find out, they are not the same as Thais, and we mean that in a good way.

Ethnically the Shan people are part of the Tai group which has origins spreading from Yunnan province in China. They are also known as Tai Yai (Meaning Big Tai). They Speak their own language, Shan, and have a rich culture which is quite different to Thai. They seem more muscular, with harder more masculine facial features when compared with the softer, sometimes almost effeminate appearance of the classic Northern Thai male.

Sexy Shan Boys

Sexy Guys from The Shan State

Part of the Golden Triangle, the Shan state was for years under the control of Opium Drug Lords, such as Khun Sa, and remains one of the most lawless and dangerous parts of Burma far from Yangon (Rangoon) and Napyidaw (the new capital). Military forces of the ruling Junta have renewed clashes with the Shan State Army and the United Wa State Army. A common tactic of the Junta is to destroy whole Shan villages killing those who can’t flee, or detaining them as forced labour. The result: a mass influx of Shan into Northern Thailand, with a steady migration to refugee camps along the border and then to Chiang Mai, the nearest urban centre, in search of work.

Their persecution doesn’t end here as they are tolerated but not welcomed or appreciated by the Thai authorities. A source of cheap labour for Chiang Mai’s virulent construction industry, many are paid only 150 Bt ($5) for a day’s hard labour, and are constant targets of Police harassment. No wonder scores of young Shan males try to make a living in Chiang Mai’s gay bars, even though most are straight and gay people are not accepted by Shan culture in the way Thai culture embraces them. Few speak any English so it’s hard to ask those you meet in the bars about their backgrounds and personal stories, many of which are quite horrific.

You can find out more about the Shan in our other articles, or by following links on our side bar to various Shan and Burma websites such as

Massage for Men by Men

If host bars and Karaoke aren’t your thing an alternative is gay massage parlours, of which there is an abundance spread across town so there’s plenty of choice. See our guide for details this currently lists seventeen venues that are good for a massage with the all-important Happy Ending :).

Blue Club Gay Massage In Chiang Mai

Facilities at the Blue's Club Massage for Men in Chiang Mai

You can also check out our other articles on the male massage scene in Chiangmai here. Compared with the host bars, you will find many more gay Thai guys working in the massage places and they are very willing to please you. Local gays are quite shy about working in host bars where they may be spotted by friends and peers, whereas massage places are discreet with lower visibility.

That concludes the second part of this series. The final article will look at where to find freelancers and the risks involved.

Please be aware that prostitution is illegal in Thailand in accordance with the Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act, B.E. 2539 (1996) This article is for information purposes only, it is not an incitement to commit illegal acts and readers are responsible for their own actions. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use for this website. Please also note that, in Thailand, the penalties for foreigners having sex with someone under the age of eighteen are severe.

Sabbai DeeBPB Property

Aung San Suu Kyi

Author: BonTong 19 Jun 2011

Today, 19 June is the birthday of Nobel Peace Prize winner and Burmese democracy fighter Aung San Suu Kyi. Happy Birthday!

Aung San Suu Kyi - Freedom to Lead

Aung San Suu Kyi - Happy Birthday

Despite her National League for Democracy party winning 81% of the seats in Parliament at the 1990 General Election in Burma she was never allowed to take power and has spent almost 15 years under house arrest since then. Following her release in November last year the 66 year old has continued her tireless fight for Peace, Freedom and Democracy in Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi outside here lakeside house

Sabbai DeeMansfield Residence

Many Friends of Radchada Cafe come from the Shan State is SE Burma, and we know many of our readers have Tai Yai friends in Chiang Mai so we like to keep up to date with the latest Shan State news.

May 21st saw the celebration of the 53nd Anniversary of Shan State People’s Resistance Day. This was held in the Shan State Army’s mountain stronghold of Loi Taileng; across the border from Thailand’s Mae Hong Song district. The celebrations included military parades and displays by the Shan State Army and speeches by ethnic and military leaders from the various groups in the Shan State.

Shan State Army soldiers on parade in Loi Taileng

Parade of SSA soldiers at Loi Taileng

For full details see these articles at and this article from the irrawaddy entitled the Shan Sniper which is an interview with a Capt Sai Leng after the celebrations when he recounts some of his experiences fighting with the SSA against the Tatmadaw – Burmese government forces. Click here for more pictures from Loi Taileng.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator John McCain visited Thailand en-route to Burma for talks with the new government and Aung San Suu Kyi. This was the highest level contact between the U.S. for many years. At the end of his his official three-day visit to Burma, McCain called for ‘concrete actions’ and not just ‘warm words’. McCain met with Vice President Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo, Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, Union Assembly Speaker Aung Khin Myint, People’s Assembly Speaker Thura Shwe Mann and ethnic MPs. State-run newspapers said that they exchanged views on promotion of bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries. McCain warned that Myanmar could face a Middle East-style revolution if the new army-backed government fails to implement democratic reform and improve human rights He also visited the NLD HIV/AIDS Salvation Centre in Rangoon.

Before travelling to Burma Senator McCain visited a refugee camp in Mae Sot, Thailand and visited the Mae Tao Clinic, run by Dr. Cynthia Maung and met with staff. During his visit he stated the clinic, “needs some extra funding both from governments and some charitable organisations“.

Senator John McCain meets staff in Mae Sot

Senator McCain in Mae Sot

But, fear has returned to the Shan State after the recent breaking of a 15-year ceasefire between the Burmese government and SSA-North fighting has broken out. Under the ceasefire with Burmese government, SSA-North was aiming to solve the problems by political means. However, On 21 May 2011, SSA-South and SSA-North, at their 53rd anniversary celebration in Loi Taileng, declared that they have re-united to fight against the Burmese military. The Shan State Army, known as SSA, has been fighting against the government in Napiytaw for autonomy for more than fifty years.

Forced labour and killing of civilians by militias and gangs continues un-abated in Burma, this latest story is just a typical example of atrocities in the Shan Sate.

Body of murdered Tai Yai civilian in Burma

Victim of miltia attrocities in Central Shan State (

Despite the efforts of the international community, atrocities and fear continue within the Shan State and, in their latest act of war the Burma Army attackers are allegedly using chemical weapons. On 3 June 2011 the Shan State Army’s strategic base in Tangyan township was attacked using chemical weapons, which on explosion, cause dizziness and nausea, according to the defenders. Burma Democratic Concern (BDC) has called on the government not to use chemical weapons. For more details check out the Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N)

Misery still continues for those in the eastern Shan state effected by the March 24 Earthquake. According to reports on S.H.A.N. Two months after the quake, many communities are still facing serious problems due to the damage to their homes. Many thanks to those who supported the Best Friend Library’s fund raising campaign which has already achieved it’s initial goals but you can still donate here

Shan State Earthquake Relief Project


The Shan State was hit by another quake this morning, at 4.6-magnitude it was felt in Chiang Rai Province.

Parts of the Shan State are still suffering badly from the big 6.8 Magnitude quake of 24th March reported here

There is still urgent need of help for the victims who have been left homeless, especially given the inclement weather of recent weeks. The best Friend is continuing it’s fund raising drive. Why not visit them and buy a fund raising T-Shirt.

Fund Raising T-Shirt for Shan State Earthquake relief project

Best Friend's Fund rasing T-Shirt

Adams Apple ClubBPB Property

Passage From Mandalay by Teresa Orr : The story of how a Burmese girl was saved from forced prostitution in Thailand.

Passage From Mandalay - Book front cover


The story is set in Chiang Mai and the main characters are gay. The story exposes lots of details about the corruption on both sides of the Burmese border and the operations of people trafficking organisations.

Order on-line from

A proportion of the proceeds are being donated to a womens refuge in Chiang Mai.

House of MaleBPB Property

Comments So Far

  1. brian says:

    Get 25% off Lulu books. Enter code: CYBERMAYUK305.

  2. brian says:

    A terrific read, right until the end. Great images of Chiang Mai and Mae Sot.

  3. Eric says:

    Loved the book. Richard and his boyfriend are great characters. Full of details. Gave a sense of the true Chiang Mai.

  • Welcome to Chiang Mai Gay News

  • Welcome to Chiang Mai Gay News
  • Hello, my name is Note. Welcome to our website about Gay Chiang Mai by Bontong Productions sponsored by Radchada Garden Café. Read all the latest news about gay life in Chiang Mai and a full, up to date, guide to all Chiang Mai's gay and LGBT venues including interactive maps.

    With content and information provide directly form our many friends and sources based in Chiang Mai we endeavour to provide the best, most accurate and up to date information on the internet about everything gay in Chiang Mai. Read More...

    Thank you for visiting. If you are in Chiang Mai please drop in and say hello to me and all the boys at Radchada Garden Café

    K. Note and the Bon Tong team